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Masquerade (2012)

Gwanghae: Wangyidoen namja (original title)
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0:37 | Trailer
A look-alike commoner is secretly hired to take the place of a poisoned king to save his country from falling into chaos.

Director:

Chang-min Choo

Writers:

Jo-yun Hwang (screenplay), Chang-min Choo (screenplay adaptation)
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21 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Byung-Hun Lee ... Ha-seon / King Gwang-hae
Seung-ryong Ryu ... Heo Gyun (as Ryu Seung-Ryong)
Hyo-Joo Han ... Queen (as Hyo-ju Han)
In-kwon Kim ... Do
Gwang Jang Gwang Jang ... Eunuch
Eun-kyung Shim ... Sa-wol
Myung-gon Kim ... Park Choong-seo
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Yong-gu Do Yong-gu Do ... Minister of National Defense
Lee El Lee El ... Ahn Gae-Shi
Soo-ho Ha Soo-ho Ha ... General Jung Jeon
Sung-Yong Han Sung-Yong Han ... Public Officer Who Escorts Ha-Sun
Bae-soo Jeon ... Minister of Justice (as Bae-Su Jeon)
Sung-hee Jo Sung-hee Jo ... Prince Gwanghae's Public Officer 2
Yeong-ho Joo Yeong-ho Joo ... Public Officer 1 Who Escorts King Gwanghae (as Young-Ho Joo)
Gil-dong Kim Gil-dong Kim ... Chief of Security Force Guarding the King
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Storyline

Amid national chaos and fear for his life, tyrannical King Gwanghae orders his trusted councilor Heo Kyun to find a royal body double. He hires Ha-seon, a peasant mimic who bears a perfect resemblance to the King. When King Gwanghae collapses from a mysterious poison, Ha-seon reluctantly becomes a King. He must follow his conscience to save his country from collapse, avoid assassination, and pull off the biggest masquerade in history. K Written by CJ Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The kingdom in the hand of a layman for 15 days. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean

Release Date:

13 September 2012 (South Korea) See more »

Also Known As:

Masquerade See more »

Filming Locations:

Seoul, South Korea See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$922,921

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$80,762,596
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hyo-Joo Han also made a Sageuk(Joseon Dynasty Historical Drama) in 2011, titled DONG-YI. The show is centered to life of Choi Sukbin, the Royal Consort with First Rank next to the Queen Consort, although she was next in line to be Queen, she took down the offer and live outside the palace, while in the film, she is the Queen Consort! See more »

Connections

Remade as The Crowned Clown (2019) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A solid Korean period drama!
23 September 2013 | by lasttimeisawSee all my reviews

Last year's South Korean box office champion (a No. 3 all-time grossing picture in the history of Korean cinema), this period drama stars Byung-hun Lee for a meaty dual role, the king and his doppelgänger scoundrel, intricately chronicles a spell of 15 days' clandestine regency under the helm of the said doppelgänger.

A grandeur of a period drama pivots heavily on its art design, set decoration, makeup and costumes whether or not can conjure a believable world of that time, as a result MASQUERADE is impeccable in all these aspects. Despite basically it is an interior chamber piece, a few outdoor shots meticulously dispense us legitimate solemnity and natural quaintness.

The outline of the story is quite straightforward, and all the ramifications are predictable, the transformation from a good-to-nothing to a righteous and gallant role model is the unflagging keynote, director Chang-min Choo interposes effectual gags in-between the brooding atmosphere, first time we saw a king breaks wind on screen and his eye-opening defecation formalities, which is gross at first glance, but the comical reaction is pure golden! (Hollywood should learn how to turn repellent vulgarity into some genuine laughter from it).

Finally Lee scoops up his representative work on big screen which could testify his talent beyond the awful exploitation of his taciturn Asian fighter figure in Hollywood action potboilers. Acting with his mother tongue, the constant changeover of manners and tones is a demanding task, he successfully nail both the imperial majesty and the antic street-smartness. What is more touching is among the set pieces where the expendable side characters face their doom, Lee's reactive performances are wonderfully empathetic, effectively efface the cliché and sappy default of a thin plot. Seung-yong Ryoo (the helping hand), Hyo-ju Han (the queen) and Gwang Jang (the eunuch) all offer a bit subtler presence pertains to their different functions.

There is an elephant in the room since everyone knows the impostor cannot be spared at any rate, so the film cunningly contrives a twist to lift the culmination which we cannot say is a mind-blowing one, at least it is a tenable one. Overall, the film is slightly over-stretching its sentimentality but nevertheless stands for a universal crowd-pleaser and a top-notcher of South Korean film industry.


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